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5 Ways to NOT Create a Positive Caller Experience

By Steve Evert

Torn Paper Bottom Edge

Here’s a quick roundup of caller experience no-no’s that we’ve come across in our never-ending effort to improve the caller experience. These come from organizations of all shapes and sizes.

1) Ignoring your brand identity. While the number of companies that recognize the need to consider caller experience is growing, contact center and telephony-related initiatives don’t make it onto the radar of marketing departments in too many instances.

Is your brand approachable, innovative, and professionally casual? Then your callers should experience something very different than when they call their buttoned-up, no-nonsense CPA firm (and vice versa).

2) Exposing callers to repetitive, generic phrases. “Thank you for holding.” “Your call is very important to us.” “Please continue to hold.” We’ve all heard those phrases more times than we can count. What’s worse, some companies expose their callers to them innumerable times in a single call.

That type of content actually increases the perceived amount of time your callers spend waiting. It’s a safe bet that the repetition of those three phrases led to the widespread idea that being on hold is usually a boring, tedious experience. (See how advertisers have played off this idea for laughs here and here.)

3) Settling for your phone system’s default music. Using your phone system’s default music – by default – ensures that your caller experience will be indistinguishable from the thousands of other organizations that do the same. (Does this music sound familiar?)

4) Leaving your company’s name out of your automated or live greeting. Not confirming that your callers have reached the right place can leave them anxious that they’ve dialed the wrong number. A live receptionist should always state the name of the company when answering phones, so why shouldn’t your pre-recorded message, especially since callers can’t ask questions of your automated system?

5) Taking a “set it and forget it” approach to your content. We’ve helped companies that hadn’t changed their Caller Experience Marketing content for more than a decade before we stepped in. Yes, a decade! Very few marketing pieces can remain completely unchanged for long periods and still be effective. (Here’s one.) Assuming your content was a home run when it was implemented, how many times can your frequent callers hear it before they tune it out and it becomes no different than background noise?

Change is something marketers have to embrace regularly, whether in response to a more competitive landscape, shifts in organizational structure, or updates in product/service offerings. You’d update your TV spots and online ads in response to those types of changes. Treat the components that make up your caller experience the same.